Now I’ve rebuilt winches before, different sizes and makes. To get those two sets of gears off (and to expose the pawls and springs between them), I had only to remove the vertical axles that held them captive. But for the life of me, I couldn’t see any way to remove these axles. Only after a long, difficult search online, having tried a bunch of key words and having waded through about a dozen online forum discussions on winches, and having returned to the cockpit several times to confirm what I was seeing, did I turn up a PDF of a tattered manual for our vintage Lewmar 48. There in that ancient record, in clear monospace, were instructions that validated the worse-case scenario I’d stumbled on in my online search: these gear axles are pressed in from the bottom and it takes a punch and a hammer to knock them back out, through the bottom. By design, the winch must be completely removed from the boat for servicing.